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Publié par Farida Bemba Nabourema

 

 

South Africa, Screw You!!!

I have never felt as insulted as an African as when I received a logistic Note from the organizers of the African Youth Network Summit in South Africa. My anger has nothing to do with the content of the summit, the objectives or even the participants. It comes from the logistic note I received from the organizing team which says: “Any delegate that goes missing will be reported to the immigration and deported immediately”.

I hail from a country and a culture where we are taught from childhood to be kind to our guests. We welcome our guests in such a way that the best cutleries, bed sheets, towels and foods are reserved for them. We come from a culture where we tell our guests to feel at home and not seek permission to open our pot and can even take the biggest piece of meat, a privilege that only the head of the household usually has. I come from a culture where you as the guest is such a VIP that the food your hosts only eat once in a blue moon, you get to eat every day to the point the children of the household do not wish to see you leave because the perks of sharing your bottle of soft drinks will stop the moment you depart.

But at the same time, we were brought up by our parents who host their guests so nicely that whenever you are invited somewhere, you must not abuse the courtesy of your hosts. Even when you love the food, you must decline a refill unless your hosts insist and you take it to make them happy. We have been told not to make noise when we are guests in someone’s court and we must show our best behaviour and hold the tiny bit of impoliteness their beatings have failed to kill in us deep inside our gut and not expose it to our hosts. And we grow up in that environment learning to be pleasant hosts and respectful guests.

As such, from that culture, we have also been taught the dos and don’ts of a host. When a host shows you the door or threaten to throw you out if you act “funny”, upon invitation you must know you are not welcome there in the first place. You must collect your dignity and pride and get the hell out and never go back unless your placenta was buried there.

I have been in South Africa several days before the summit attending other activities in observance of Nelson Mandela’s centenary and I was waiting on the night before the summit to rally Pretoria from Johannesburg. When I read that message, my first reflex was to transfer it to my coordinators at the Africans Rising movement to inform them that I plan on protesting such threat. And the movement coordinator Coumba in her diplomatic ways said and asked me to quote her: “a social justice movement should not be in the business of reporting people to immigration”. I can’t thank her enough for always finding ways to tame my wildness and finding better way to express her disappointment than I do. 

However, on my own behalf, this is what I have to say: “South Africa to hell with you. We Africans contributed to your struggle for liberation financially, logistically, militarily, diplomatically, spiritually at times where we didn’t have enough ourselves. Our countries handed out free passports to your leaders from Nelson Mandela to Miriam Makeba and many more to allow them travel freely when the colonialist that divided us with the invisible borders you are enforcing have declared your leaders’ persona non- grata in your country”. To hell with your blind arrogance that makes you think that being a second-class citizen in your own country makes you superior to a Nigerian, a Kenyan, a Zimbabwean or a Liberian who you look down on because they helped you obtain the right to use the same bathrooms with your colonial masters. To hell with your foolishness that stops you from looking at the opportunities you are losing out of by making your county inaccessible to other Africans -thanks to whom you are a regional power. To hell with the individualism and cockiness you have borrowed from your masters and parades with.

And now screw you because I can’t help but insult whoever insults me, my origins, my identity, my nationality. Double screw you for having the audacity to threaten Africans with deportation when your colonial masters don’t even need a visa to come to your land and confiscate it.”

 

Had I come here to represent myself, I would have just left the same night because I do not entertain people who disrespect me and my people. But because I am here to represent an organization, I will painfully seat and endure your insolence for two days while making sure I do not eat your vomit. For this I decided to boycott everything you are offering to participants from accommodation, to transportation, to even food and water. And if I couldn’t afford to offer myself these out of pocket, I would rather sleep out in this South Pole cold winter of yours than allow you to treat me as a beggar. May be as a country you have lost your values along with your land during colonialism, but some of us still have ours and we hold on dearly to it.

And may nothing ever force me to come back to this country of yours. I will not offer myself as a rat on which you test the racism and xenophobia the colonists sold you.

 

 

Farida Bemba Nabourema

Disillusioned African Citizen

 

 

 

 

 

Farida Bemba Nabourema 
Disillusioned African Citizen

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Pat Mendoza 24/07/2018 12:50

SCREW "EXILE-DEBT": AN ALBATROSS AROUND SOUTH AFRICA'S NECK


Motapo We'Zigidi | 24th July 2018


If someone thought after racism and land dust will settle in South African politics, unfortunately not: immigration is the biggest topic of the future.


The rage expressed by Farida Bemba Nabourema at South Africa went over overboard and would certainly ignite fires everywhere. Bemba, a Togolese citizen, is aggrieved by a message contained in a logistics note of the African Youth Network Summit she attended in South Africa recently.


The message reads, "Any delegate that goes missing will be reported to the immigration and deported immediately”. The message was like a red cloth to a Spanish bull as the young lady decided to threw out her vulgar and other possessions from her grocery bag. She wrote, "South Africa, Screw You!"


Bemba calls South Africa xenophobic and all other names. She feels South Africa is thankless to the rest of Africa for helping it during the struggle days.


Well, migration issues are an irritation for anyone who travels. Even without an offensive note, I always get riled when I stand in front of cameras and smile as if to bribe an officer who is about to stamp my passport. I hate it in Dubai. I hate it in Lagos. I hate it in New York. I hate it everywhere.


It is not so much the travel that I do not like but migration, whether I need or do not need a visa to enter any country. You always feel small and stupid before someone who can easily turn you back at a whim.


As a traveller I agree with Bemba. However, her letter is not something that I think any South African would not challenge. The lady came down south with many preconceived ideas and only needed inhale dust from Johannesburg's old mine dumpsites to get enraged. The note did her a favour.


Our vociferous guest says: "May be as a country you [South Africans] have lost your values along with your land during colonialism, but some of us still have ours and we hold on dearly to it."


Admittedly, colonialism remains an enduring stain in Africa’s history, and all forms of oppression continue to exist in all countries. South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe with their large European settler community tend to have deeper legacy of colonialism.


Nonetheless, Francophone countries including Togo itself have their own serious issues to contend with. It is quite rich from Bemba to refer to South Africa and its citizens in the way she does. Maybe she is oblivious to some facts about colonial grime still impacting her country.


Some of the issues she decided not to mention in her tirade:


First, Togo pays colonial tax to France. A German newspaper in 2016 was quoted saying that Francophone countries pay 400 billion euros each year to France. The 14 Francophone countries are obliged to store about 85% of their foreign exchange reserves at the Banque de France in Paris; and these reserves are under the direct control of the French Treasury. This means that the countries concerned only retain a meagre 15%, and the money stored in Paris is beyond their reach.


Second, we also hear that the government in Paris has a right of first refusal on all newly discovered natural resources in those African countries. So whatever oil resources the likes of Gabon and Republic of Congo literally belong to France and Total. Furthermore, it is mandatory that French companies must have priority in the awarding contracts in their former colonies.


Third, she omitted to state that Togo like all countries controls its borders and ports of entry. The migration officials in Lomé are as grotty as any other across the world.


Fourth, countries like Togo are under pressure from Bemba and other activists to democratise. The harsher political and economic environment ensures that young men and women leave their country in droves to other countries. Maybe by the time we hear from Bemba again she will be behind bars for her stance against her government. Yet she says she hopes that "nothing ever force me to come back to this country of yours." A loaf of bread will do when she gets visitors.


On a serious note, South Africa is unfortunately a preferred destination for migrants. This creates tensions between locals and foreigners for access to limited resources.


Perhaps the influx of migrants and the corresponding tensions is the most important point that needs treatment because people like Bemba also appears to be making a meal of. She rallies fellow Africans to gang up against South Africa because it is xenophobic.


She also screams from the top of her voice, "To hell with your [South Africans] blind arrogance that makes you think that being a second-class citizen in your own country makes you superior to a Nigerian, a Kenyan, a Zimbabwean or a Liberian who you look down on because they helped you obtain the right to use the same bathrooms with your colonial masters."


It is interesting that that the contribution to the struggle is always overstated in the books of countries that hosted South Africans during the dark days of apartheid. Truth is, according to the New York Times (1991) barely 40 thousand South Africans were in exile abroad. And today there are close to 10 million migrants, both legal and illegal, and the number is rising.


It would be interesting to know how many exiles went to Togo. The 'exile-debt' appears to be perpetual in the same way as the colonial-debt has troubled Francophone countries from Haiti to the Congo jungle. Double screw exile debt!


At continental level, there is a huge push to open borders and for an Africa-wide passport. It is interesting that there is an expectation that South Africa becomes a free for all. Yes, governments may agree and sign documents to liberalise trade and migration but it is unclear if the citizens on the ground will be as understanding, especially against the background of heightened competition for scarce resources and jobs.


The "struggle credentials" could have reached its sell by date now - everybody has to struggle and hassle for survival. The emergence of Donald Trump in the USA and right-wing parties in Europe, for example, indicates that the world is moving to a direction where migration is becoming a biggest selling political point.


The next largest political movement to emerge in South Africa will be on migration issues. Already Terror Lekota, Herman Mashaba and others have added their voice to the problem as social and economic challenges mount. When it comes to bread and butter issues, people will rise to defend their interests.


To Farida Bemba Nabourema, we congratulate Togo-France for winning the FIFA World Cup!


⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽

Pat Mendoza 24/07/2018 12:45

SCREW "EXILE-DEBT": AN ALBATROSS AROUND SOUTH AFRICA'S NECK

Motapo We'Zigidi | 24th July 2018

If someone thought after racism and land dust will settle in South African politics, unfortunately not: immigration is the biggest topic of the future.

The rage expressed by Farida Bemba Nabourema at South Africa went over overboard and would certainly ignite fires everywhere. Bemba, a Togolese citizen, is aggrieved by a message contained in a logistics note of the African Youth Network Summit she attended in South Africa recently.

The message reads, "Any delegate that goes missing will be reported to the immigration and deported immediately”. The message was like a red cloth to a Spanish bull as the young lady decided to threw out her vulgar and other possessions from her grocery bag. She wrote, "South Africa, Screw You!"

Bemba calls South Africa xenophobic and all other names. She feels South Africa is thankless to the rest of Africa for helping it during the struggle days.

Well, migration issues are an irritation for anyone who travels. Even without an offensive note, I always get riled when I stand in front of cameras and smile as if to bribe an officer who is about to stamp my passport. I hate it in Dubai. I hate it in Lagos. I hate it in New York. I hate it everywhere.

It is not so much the travel that I do not like but migration, whether I need or do not need a visa to enter any country. You always feel small and stupid before someone who can easily turn you back at a whim.

As a traveller I agree with Bemba. However, her letter is not something that I think any South African would not challenge. The lady came down south with many preconceived ideas and only needed inhale dust from Johannesburg's old mine dumpsites to get enraged. The note did her a favour.

Our vociferous guest says: "May be as a country you [South Africans] have lost your values along with your land during colonialism, but some of us still have ours and we hold on dearly to it."

Admittedly, colonialism remains an enduring stain in Africa’s history, and all forms of oppression continue to exist in all countries. South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe with their large European settler community tend to have deeper legacy of colonialism.

Nonetheless, Francophone countries including Togo itself have their own serious issues to contend with. It is quite rich from Bemba to refer to South Africa and its citizens in the way she does. Maybe she is oblivious to some facts about colonial grime still impacting her country.

Some of the issues she decided not to mention in her tirade:

First, Togo pays colonial tax to France. A German newspaper in 2016 was quoted saying that Francophone countries pay 400 billion euros each year to France. The 14 Francophone countries are obliged to store about 85% of their foreign exchange reserves at the Banque de France in Paris; and these reserves are under the direct control of the French Treasury. This means that the countries concerned only retain a meagre 15%, and the money stored in Paris is beyond their reach.

Second, we also hear that the government in Paris has a right of first refusal on all newly discovered natural resources in those African countries. So whatever oil resources the likes of Gabon and Republic of Congo literally belong to France and Total. Furthermore, it is mandatory that French companies must have priority in the awarding contracts in their former colonies.

Third, she omitted to state that Togo like all countries controls its borders and ports of entry. The migration officials in Lomé are as grotty as any other across the world.

Fourth, countries like Togo are under pressure from Bemba and other activists to democratise. The harsher political and economic environment ensures that young men and women leave their country in droves to other countries. Maybe by the time we hear from Bemba again she will be behind bars for her stance against her government. Yet she says she hopes that "nothing ever force me to come back to this country of yours." A loaf of bread will do when she gets visitors.

On a serious note, South Africa is unfortunately a preferred destination for migrants. This creates tensions between locals and foreigners for access to limited resources.

Perhaps the influx of migrants and the corresponding tensions is the most important point that needs treatment because people like Bemba also appears to be making a meal of. She rallies fellow Africans to gang up against South Africa because it is xenophobic.

She also screams from the top of her voice, "To hell with your [South Africans] blind arrogance that makes you think that being a second-class citizen in your own country makes you superior to a Nigerian, a Kenyan, a Zimbabwean or a Liberian who you look down on because they helped you obtain the right to use the same bathrooms with your colonial masters."

It is interesting that that the contribution to the struggle is always overstated in the books of countries that hosted South Africans during the dark days of apartheid. Truth is, according to the New York Times (1991) barely 40 thousand South Africans were in exile abroad. And today there are close to 10 million migrants, both legal and illegal, and the number is rising.

It would be interesting to know how many exiles went to Togo. The 'exile-debt' appears to be perpetual in the same way as the colonial-debt has troubled Francophone countries from Haiti to the Congo jungle. Double screw exile debt!

At continental level, there is a huge push to open borders and for an Africa-wide passport. It is interesting that there is an expectation that South Africa becomes a free for all. Yes, governments may agree and sign documents to liberalise trade and migration but it is unclear if the citizens on the ground will be as understanding, especially against the background of heightened competition for scarce resources and jobs.

The "struggle credentials" could have reached its sell by date now - everybody has to struggle and hassle for survival. The emergence of Donald Trump in the USA and right-wing parties in Europe, for example, indicates that the world is moving to a direction where migration is becoming a biggest selling political point.

The next largest political movement to emerge in South Africa will be on migration issues. Already Terror Lekota, Herman Mashaba and others have added their voice to the problem as social and economic challenges mount. When it comes to bread and butter issues, people will rise to defend their interests.

To Farida Bemba Nabourema, we congratulate Togo-France for winning the FIFA World Cup!

⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽

Chisanga 24/07/2018 04:34

The bastards deserved apartheid. Never been and never Will.

Pule 23/07/2018 18:05

Was it really necessary to insult all of SA? It is easier to point fingers at SA without asking the hard question: What is it that causes many Africans to leave their countries in droves? Its because their home countries dont care a fig about them....

King 23/07/2018 16:28

Bleh. Yaz nna I am tired of people and them trying to guilt trip the entire country on the acts of individuals or organisations. Ok, fine, you had a bad experience, sorry about that.

But it doesn't make sense to be mad at an entire country. It's very immature. You guys need to get over yourselves. Bad isht happens everywhere.

It doesn't make sense to hate all Nigerians because some sell drugs in SA. Imagine if we blamed all of Nigeria for all the Nigerian drug dealers in SA.

So on behalf of all of SA, I would like to say, sorry for your bad experience but to hell with you too and screw you too lady. This is misplaced anger and immature. I have been to other african countries and some people there are indifferent to foreigners. But i wont get mad at an entire country because I had a bad experience with somw locals.

And if anyone ever brings up how they contributed to our struggle, then they must tell us how much we must pay them to shut up about it. Yes, we know. We are thankful but stop trying to guilt trip with it. Its getting really old and boring.

Ayo 24/07/2018 10:34

@King...The Lady has a valid point. You also have a valid point too. You cannot generalize a bad behaviour to an entire country. Having said that, i believe many things have gone wrong in South Africa and nothing has been done about it. It surprises me most times that the black South Africans hate people from other African countries which sometimes makes me wonder if they were bewitched to have hatred for people whose country contributed sweat and blood to see to the liberation of the blacks in South Africa. Its even more interesting to know that there is even hatred among black south africans and even coloureds. So i don't think it should surprise anyone by now if bad experiences like this are reported in South Africa. Am sure you are aware of many examples so i wont go into that. And mind you, you are only speaking freely now because some people fought for that freedom for you. No matter how much was contributed, its a debt that cannot be repaid. So stop all the nonsense talk about payback.

I must say the winner in all these are those who have sown division among black people. This is evident not in South Africa alone. Its all over the world. We need to all come together as a United Africa and move forward. They were wrong to profile us racially but we have to show to the whole world we are better than them. You cannot cure hatred with hatred. Only Love can cure hatred. Lets be nice and respectful to one another and shame those who think we will never be united. God Bless us all.

#UnitedAfrica #UnitedBlacks

Kundai 23/07/2018 16:15

And Azania still cry. How on earth do South Africa think treating other Africans like this will help themselves.. The tables are turning and the same non-Africans they value more than us will continue to shit in their faces until they wake up. I know it will be late. Spinless and foolish.
They think the depending on state for livelihood is special yet do not know that the state is depending on the taxpayer. Enjoy your sleeping pill until oneday you wakeup and there is no country. Because the country is built on sweat and blood not on your receiving handouts

Anton 23/07/2018 14:31

This is so poorly written. Terrible .

Herman Lategan 23/07/2018 12:27

I'm absolutely shocked. I've noticed that some South African believe we are not part of Africa. It's hubris and a misplaces sense of being superior.

Emdee Tiamiyu 22/07/2018 15:16

God bless you Farida for this post. I'm reading from Nigeria and I'm literally as infuriated as much as you. I've experienced this "War of Supremacy" from South Africans even abroad. How did we allow Colonialists turn us against one another this much?

Botsang Moiloa 22/07/2018 11:44

And this happens just a few months after the SA President supported by General Kagame in Rwanda making noise about the borderless Afrika for Afrikans. What a cheap pep talk.

I am a proud Afrikan, A citizen of the world who happens to be born in the white owned and controlled South Africa. I happen to have lived in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Mozambique both as a guerilla and a Diplomat. And it hurts and cuts deep to see how we as SA still apply colonial rules, laws, mentality to treat our own.

But to my Dear Sister, Farida Bemba, I say do NOT despair. You are not alone. Blacks in this country of their own are still subjected to gruesome colonial and apartheid laws by the current government since we were never liberated. South Africans were given an opportunity to politically vote and participate in the white man or colonial designed systems. They have all that and nothing else. You are right when you say, we gained the freedom to share public toilets with former apartheid masters. And thatvis all, we kept their shit in checked balances and give it to our own people

Allow me to say, it is not yet Uhuru in the Southern tip of Afrika. And it is people like you who would halp our brainwashed and mentally enslaved Blacks to realise that without Land ownership and African customary ways we are a doomed Nation.

I am NOT going to apologise for a reality. I am actually both happy that someone stood up and equally ashamed of the continued insults to our own flesh and blood while imperialists and neo colonialists are warm welcome in their Land. They still own the stolen land. Sadly they own the political parties, the laws and the minds and many.

ALUTA CONTINUA E AZANIA.

Botsang Modimowame Moiloa
Still in the Occupied Azania
22 July 2018